Blick in das LC Gebäude

Research Talk by Fleura Bardhi, Bayes Business School (UK)

25. November 2023

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting Fleura Bardhi, Professor of Marketing at Bayes Business School, as part of our Research Seminar Series. During the session, Fleura presented her work on "Consumptive Work," delving into the exploration of co-working spaces as a context for consumption.

As workspaces gradually return to normalcy post the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, co-working spaces are proving to be resilient and provide an appealing alternative to traditional office settings. While there exists extensive research on co-working spaces within organizational studies, consumer research in this domain has been somewhat overlooked. Despite this gap, Fleura argues that studying consumer experiences within these spaces is valuable, as they represent environments where an individual's roles as an employee and consumer converge.

In the past, the boundaries between work and home, as well as between production (organizational) and consumption (domestic and marketplace-related) spheres, were distinct and rigid. However, the evolving preferences of a predominantly young, knowledge-based workforce have blurred these boundaries, giving rise to co-working spaces where work itself can be perceived as a consumable object.

Fleura and her colleagues conducted an ethnographic study of both formal and informal co-working spaces, immersing themselves in the unique lifestyle and work dynamics of these environments.

Picture meticulously designed spaces curated by architects and designers, offering a plethora of amenities, from wellness features like yoga classes and meditation zones to practical services such as laundry and on-site shops. These spaces cultivate a nightclub atmosphere where clients' business activities are facilitated by community managers offering progress report meetings for updates on the achievement of their professional goals. Since these co-working spaces provide everything one might need 24/7, there is little incentive to leave. For many individuals, these spaces offer meaningful and aesthetically pleasing work experiences. Participants in co-working spaces derive hedonic experiences from their surroundings, instrumentalizing activities like wellness or cooking classes to enhance productivity, build communities, and foster professional connections.

However, an inherent downside to this extreme interconnectedness between one's private and professional life is the difficulty in maintaining a life outside of co-working spaces. The concept of being at work 24/7, despite the array of perks and amenities, may seem dystopian to some.

In summary, this research illuminates the intricate relationship between consumption and work. We thank Fleura for taking the time to share her insightful work with us.

zurück zur Übersicht